east asia

Today, China faces two difficult options: On one hand, it can keep on pushing its territorial claims at the expense of regional stability and goodwill, appeasing nationalist elements back home. Alternatively, it can rein in hardline factions, sign up to a legally-binding Code of Conduct (CoC) in the West Philippine Sea, and emerge as a legitimate contender for regional leadership in the coming decades.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will never seek to impose its will on other nations, no matter how strong it becomes.  With this speech, China's president had one clear goal: sending a message of reassurance to China's neighbours and other nations further afield watching this nation's rise, who wonder what sort of great power it may turn out to be.

As President Obama recently announced, the Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, in collaboration with Brand USA, supports the National Travel and Tourism Strategy goal of bringing 100 million international visitors to the United States by 2021. In July, five members of the American Chef Corps will travel to East-Asian markets to promote U.S. tourism and agricultural exports.

China’s belated response to the oil rig crisis demonstrates the limits of its regional soft power.  Focusing on, negotiating over, and perhaps even solving one of its maritime disputes would go a long way toward enhancing China’s regional soft power.

The China Institute will hold its annual gala today, celebrating the 88th year since its founding in 1926 and making it the oldest US-China cultural organization in the United States.  The China Institute in Manhattan was established by American and Chinese educators, including John Dewey, Hu Shih, president of Peking University and China's ambassador to the US, and Kuo Pingwen, founder of the National Southeastern University in China.

Boeing Co. (BA) will sell 50 737 aircraft worth at least $3.8 billion to a low-cost carrier being set up by Juneyao Airlines Co., as a loosening of Chinese government controls on low-cost travel stokes demand expectations.  Economic growth is helping make air travel affordable to more Chinese, increasing demand for planes from carriers such asAir China Ltd. (1055) and China Southern Airlines Co.  

The unveiling of Peng and Cheng is notable, as Chinese leaders' wives have usually kept a low profile. They might not play the same roles and hold the same power as Clinton and her fellow ex-secretaries of state, but both the "first lady" and "second lady" have done their part in boosting China's soft power and raising its global profile.

India is planning a year-long soft power push in more than a dozen Chinese cities by bringing classical dance troupes, Indian food festivals, first ever Bollywood events in China and even a social media campaign in an attempt to raise the country’s cultural profile, especially among younger Chinese.  “The effort will be India’s biggest ever attempt to reach out directly to the Chinese public,” Ambassador to China Ashok Kantha, who took over as the envoy here in January, told The Hindu.